Poetry in the XXI Century – Fiction or Reality


Poetry has always been an important force in literature since the Middle Ages and even before. It has the power to inspire people of different generations, nationalities, and social statuses. However, the 21st century is a different time period. The digital revolution changed many genres totally, created new ones, and naturally, has left its mark on poetry as well. Moreover, the search for poems is significantly increased thanks to the new online channels, including YouTube and Instagram. In the next lines, we will try to compare classic and modern poetry and present some of the most successful titles from 2001 to date.

More About the Genre and Biggest Movements

Following the thought from above, we must say that poetry is actually much more ancient than the Middle Ages. Some writings in the Great Pyramids are considered to be poems, and we talk about hundreds of years BCE. Technically speaking, poets use special writing techniques and aesthetic, rhythmic, and prosaic qualities to create their works. Each poem must answer a few strict criteria, but as it has proven in recent decades, fans of this genre can easily accept rules to be broken. Over the centuries, various poets have been praised, and many of them remain unrivaled in drama to this day.

If we try to distinguish the most significant poetry movements, certainly we must start with Ancient Greek. Poets from that region are considered by many the first and best masters of this art, creating masterpieces for more than three centuries. Provencal Literature (11th, 12th, and 13th centuries) and Sicilian School (2nd half of 13th century) are the next huge movements that left a mark in history. If the subject is interesting to you, we recommend you also to check:

  • Elizabethan and Shakespearean Eras
  • Metaphysical Poetry
  • Romanticism
  • American Transcendentalists
  • Modernism (incl. Harlem Renaissance)
  • Postmodernism.

Classic Poetry

Classics in poetry are the poets from the Roman and Ancient Greek eras. They are considered the fathers of this literary style and stand out in certain characteristics. Classic poems must be passionate but thoughts to be considered from an intellectual standpoint. Other mandatory elements are conceit, concentration, and wit. All these characteristics are used by poets to gradually reveal the underlying meanings and explain them to the readers. We discover many of the classic poetry spirit in later works typical of the Elizabethan and Shakespearean periods!

Highlights of Digital Poetry

Make Digital Poetry

Our focus is on modern poetry, so let’s see how it differs from classicism and what makes it unique! Of course, we don’t have modernism in mind but the 21st century movement. Poets of today stand out with a more favorable style of writing and specific artistic expressions. It has evolved, and you can see the drastic changes in the lack of rhymes and features, like disrupted syntax. The stanza structure is irregular, which is not common for almost all poetry styles from the preceding eras. In addition, digital poetry has a different audience varying significantly in age and taste preferences.

Online platforms and social media such as Instagram seem to replace old-fashioned and classic poetry distribution methods successfully. And while this is rather expected, the emergence of new topics related to poetry is at the heart of the growing public. The classic themes and subjects, like romance, war and peace are still existing, evolving, or fading. However, new ones are in the spotlight representing problems of today, including environmental change, sexual and racial harassment. You can find isolated traces in poetry written by previous generations, but today these topics are particularly relevant and abundant!

Must-Read Poems of XXI Century

Like any other style of writing, poetry is not for everyone! Or at least, not every genre is suitable for every reader. In light of that, creating a ranking or a list of favorites is an abstract and subjective task. Nevertheless, we would like to offer our top 10 poems of the 21st century to your attention. Hopefully, we can provoke your reactions and find out if you support these titles or have others you want to share.

  • Black Ice and Rain by Michael Donaghy (2000)
  • When the Officer Caught Me by Nate Marshall (2016)
  • The Shout by Simon Armitage (2002)
  • Rain by Don Paterson (2008)
  • They Convinced Me by Rupi Kaur (2017)
  • Scientific Method by Paul Tran (2018)
  • My Blue Hen by Ann Gray (2015)
  • Artichokes by Bianca Stone (2019)
  • Stevie and Me by Jacqueline Woodson (2014)
  • Swing-Set by Andrea Gibson (2008).

If you like any of our proposed poems, check the authors, as most of them have published books containing some highly ranked titles. For example, Rupi Kaur’s “They Convinced Me” is part of “The Sun and Her Flowers,” written in the period from 2017 to 2019.

Our Conclusion

At the end of our short article, we can say that poetry will never be the same, but that is not necessarily bad. On the contrary, the new movement is more suitable for a wider audience, especially in times when it is increasingly difficult for us to show our true selves. Literature, and poetry above all, has always been a way to express our thoughts and connect with the world around us. The modern digital tools are useful and add a unique flavor. If you enjoyed this article, explore more of the literary topics presented on our website.